I read everywhere that there are generally two types of the sweet cooking wine mirin:
A) the real, hon mirin, a sweet rice wine with 14 % vol. alcohol
B) the ersatz, or shin mirin / mirin fu, with less than 1 % vol. alcohol.
I'd like to know if it makes a significant difference in flavours or otherwise if one uses the ersatz mirin instead of the 'real stuff', e.g., for sushi rice or other dishes. Is 'hon mirin' the first choice among the Japanese?